There is a young woman who works with me at the bookstore. She's married and the mother of three little 'uns, ages 8, 6 and 3. I'll refer to her as Mrs. J., for privacy's sake.
I went into the bookstore the other morning to find Mrs. J. distraught.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"My middle kid might not be able to graduate from kindergarten."
"Oh no! Why?"
This is the story...
Apparently there is a late-in-the-year fundraiser, one of those candy bar thingies. Kids are given a big box of chocolate bars to take home and sell for a dollar each. Mr's J's kid, whom we will refer to as Little Miss A., got rid of all her chocolate bars, all forty of them. The only problem was, she only had one single, solitary dollar to show for them.
What happened to the other $39? Well, there were no other $39. This little girl stood in line at the bus and sold one lonely candy bar for one lonely dollar. Another child came up to her.
"I want a candy bar but I don't have a dollar. Can you lend me the one in your hand?"
So, being a very giving girl, she did. She handed her friend the dollar, the friend gave it back to her and got her candy bar.
Other kids saw this and being kids, they wanted a candy bar too, so the process was repeated...thirty six times. (It would have been thirty eight times but Little Miss A., being a kid too, ate a couple of them, herself.) She stuffed the empty fundraiser box along with the one lonely dollar into her backpack and scooted on home.
The day of reckoning came this past Friday when all the money and unsold candy bars were to be handed in at school; our Little Miss A. handed in one empty box and one crumpled dollar bill. the school principal phoned Mrs. J. to tell her the bad news; her daughter would not be allowed to graduate kindergarten until the school as given $39.00.
Now I've raised kids. I know all about the trials and tribulations of that. And I should have been more sympathetic to this young mother who works hard and struggles to support her family. But what did I do? I burst out laughing. I doubled over with laughter. I pounded the counter top.
Mrs. J. did not laugh.
"I suppose years down the road I'll think it's funny, too." she said.
I told her I felt that the school was partly responsible. You can't give a box of candy bars to five and six year old kids and not expect something like this to happen. The school apparently felt the same way because from now on,all parents of kindergartners and first graders are to pick up the boxes of candy.
Good lesson for the teacher, I think.
Week Three Summary
3 years ago